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Xiaomi Mi 4 first impression: Decent smartphone but launched too late

Apart from the metal casing, MIUI 6 user interface are the highlights of Xiaomi Mi4.

Last Wednesday, Chinese smartphone-maker Xiaomi launched the Mi 4 in India for Rs 19,999. It will be available on Flipkart from February 10 and will follow the flash sale distribution model.

Xiaomi Mi 4 is not the latest smartphone from the company as it was launched in July last year in China. The latest smartphones from Xiaomi, Mi Note and Mi Note Pro, will not be launched anytime soon in India. They might come to India around May-June.

Interestingly, this is for the first time that Xiaomi has crossed the Rs 15,000 price bracket as the smartphones that it has previously launched in India, Mi 3, RedMi Note 4G and so on, were priced below Rs 14,000.

Design

Xioami has definitely put some serious effort in designing the metal casing of Mi 4. It looks good and front display has been made using one glass solution (OGS) technology, which simply means end to end glass display that reduces gap between display and frame holding it.

But apart from the metal casing, Mi4 doesn't have any extra ordinary design appeal. It's back panel is made of plastic, with a criss cross pattern, which is slightly curved. This curvature helps providing better grip of the device.

Xiaomi Mi 4

The power on/off button and volume rocker are placed on the right side panel and micro SIM slot tray is placed on the left panel. Mi 4 has infrared port which makes it a a remote control for TV, music system, ACs and so on. The speaker grill is placed at the bottom panel similar to iPhone.

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Apart from the metal casing, MI

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6 interface is the highlight of Mi 4. This user interface rests on five pillars - Motion, Colour, Content, Customisation and Security. So basically these five pillars are meant to offer Mi 4 users a lot of customisation capabilities and change the way they can use their smartphone.

Few of these customisations are like floating notifications where if you get a call you don't have to leave the app to attend to the call, one can segregate notifications important and unimportant, customise screen lock, setting up emails and showcasing long chain of email the way Whatsapp shows chats and rearrange apps by shaking the device in edit mode.

On the security front one can deny or permit apps curtail rights like access to internet, phonebook and so on.

Display

The Xiaomi Mi 4 has a 5-inch screen IPS display with full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution, which means its display has huge 441 ppi pixels density. When we were using the device in bright sunlight on maximum brightness we were finding it a bit hard to read the text on the screen.

Xiaomi Mi 4

The display is made of Corning glass that safeguards the display from scratches and to some extent is shatter proof. One can access the display with wet hands on Mi4 but it is prone to finger prints.

Camera

Xiaomi Mi 4 has a 13 megapixel rear camera with LED flash, and an 8 megapixel front camera. It has a unique software feature called 'Chroma Flash' that claims to create HDR quality images (it has the usual HDR feature as well). We will share our final comments about Mi 4's camera quality in our detailed review later.

Xiaomi Mi 4

In the meantime you can have a look at the few sample snaps we had clicked here.

Hardware

The Xiaomi Mi 4 has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset that comprises of a 2.5 GHz quad-core processor, Adreno 330 GPU, and 3 GB of RAM. The phone has Sixteen GB of internal memory and runs on a 3,080 mAh battery. There's also a fast charging mode, which the company claims, which charges the phone from 0 to 100 percent in 2.5 hours.

Xiaomi Mi 4

We will talk about the performance and battery backup of Xiaomi Mi4 in our detailed review which we will be publishing in few days.

Verdict
Xiaomi Mi 4 is a decent device with good specs but has been launched in India too late as other devices like Huawei Honor 6 and Lenovo Vibe X2 which are priced less than it are better value for money proposition. Also, though we don't have pan India 4G services right now but consumers will not mind having LTE support on their smartphones and Xiaomi has missed out on this front as well. It has not been able to launch LTE version of Mi 4 version because of supply issues. Before the launch of Mi 4, Xiaomi has captured a lot of consumer attention in India which reflects in its sales numbers but the honeymoon period might get over now because in the Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 price bracket there are lot of players which have products that will offer strong challenge to Mi 4. Now it need to be seen whether Xiaomi can recreate the Mi 3 kind of magic when it goes on sale in a few days on Flipkart.



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First Published : Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 18:05